Young Habiba speaks out for the chil­dren

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

SEV­EN­TEEN-YEAR-OLD Habiba Asim moved to Aus­tralia from New Zealand four years ago to be­gin high school.

She might be young, but she knows she can do so much for Aus­tralia’s youth, which is why she sits on the Youth Part­ner­ship Pro­ject (YPP) Youth Lead­er­ship Round­table run by Save the Chil­dren.

It is an ini­tia­tive that sup­ports the South East Metropoli­tan’s most vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple.

Born in Pak­istan, Habiba grew up in New Zealand and said she was al­ways aware of how lucky she and her sib­lings were to be in Aus­tralia.

“The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of my di­rect fam­ily such as aun­ties, un­cles and even first cousins (liv­ing in a de­vel­op­ing coun­try) mo­ti­vates me to do more, to give back more, to help more peo­ple be­cause I have been given a chance and the op­por­tu­nity to be a role model in my com­mu­nity,” she said.

She joined the YPP af­ter learn­ing of it through the Gos­nells Youth Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil.

“At first, I was a lit­tle hes­i­tant not know­ing whether this pro­ject would be suit­able for me. Af­ter talk- ing to my fa­ther, I was re­minded of my main goal in life, which seemed to per­fectly fit,” she said.

“Through this pro­ject I hon­estly just want to help the youth, to make the com­mu­nity I live in a bet­ter place and for the ser­vice providers and adults in charge to lis­ten to the voices of Aus­tralia’s fu­ture.”

She said her favourite mo­ment from the pro­ject was the day she fa­cil­i­tated a racism and dis­crim­i­na­tion work­shop at the Speak Out for Change sum­mit held ear­lier this year.

“That day I did not stand only as Habiba Asim, a young Mus­lim woman who had been dis­crim­i­nated against, racially pro­filed and made to feel like a for­eigner,” she said.

“I acted as a voice for the youth in that room and I was able to help em­power the young peo­ple to speak out about their ex­pe­ri­ences, their thoughts on the in­creas­ing is­sue and the way in which change may be brought about.”

If you know an in­spir­ing young per­son, con­tact us at south­erngazette@com­mu­ni­

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d439520

Habiba Asim (17) sits on the Youth Round­table of the Save the Chil­dren or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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